This jade is published in Filippo Salviati 4000 YEARS OF CHINESE ARCHAIC JADES Edition Zacke, Vienna 2017, no. 245
玉人形飾- 東周, 战国, 公元前4世紀
This Jade is shaped as a small rectangular plaque carved on both sides with two pairs of human figures wearing long-sleeved robes decorated with “S”-shaped patterns in bold lines on the front and circles that alternate with plain crossing bands on the back. On each side, the two pairs of figures are represented standing next to each another: a pair faces the viewer while the other is turned. One arm is raised near the head and the other is placed in front of the waist, with the long sleeve reaching the bottom of the robe. The figurines probably represent dancers whose faces have large eyes, big noses and an austere expression. The jade has a white-green opaque surface, a yellow-red tone is seen in focused backlighting.
The human figure was very rarely represented on jades of the Eastern Zhou period: most of the occurrences are from the Chu cultural sphere in the south and from the finds related to the semi-barbarian kingdom of Zhongshan that flourished near the modern city of Baoding in Hebei province, to which the carving can be stylistically assigned. Several matching plaquettes and figurines have come to light from the tombs of the royal Zhongshan cemetery, excavated at Pingshan, Hebei province, and dated to c. 310 BC. Another comparable ornament with three human figures is in the Harvard Art Museums (acc. no.1943.50.319).
Provenance: From an old Austrian collection